Android could always hang with the big boys (RIM, Apple, Microsoft, and Nokia) in terms of functionality, but it was lacking a polished user interface. Android 2.0 not only catches Google’s baby up to the rest, in many ways it zooms past them. But, don’t take our word for it. Take a tour of Android 2.0 (on the Motorola Droid) and see for yourself.
New Features of 2.0 include (according to the Android Development Team):
Contacts and accounts
- Multiple accounts can be added to a device for email and contact synchronization, including Exchange accounts. (Handset manufacturers can choose whether to include Exchange support in their devices.)
- Developers can create sync adapters that provide synchronization with additional data sources.
- Quick Contact for Android provides instant access to a contact’s information and communication modes. For example, a user can tap a contact photo and select to call, SMS, or email the person. Other applications such as Email, Messaging, and Calendar can also reveal the Quick Contact widget when you touch a contact photo or status icon.
- Sync support for contacts from multiple data sources including Exchange. Handset manufacturers can choose whether or not to include Exchange support in their devices.
- New way to hover on a person to see more info and select communication mode (for example, phone, SMS, email).
- Exchange support.
- Combined inbox to browse email from multiple accounts in one page.
- Search functionality for all saved SMS and MMS messages.
- Auto delete the oldest messages in a conversation when a defined limit is reached.
- Built-in flash support
- Digital zoom
- Scene mode
- White balance
- Color effect
- Macro focus
Android virtual keyboard
- An improved keyboard layout to makes it easier to hit the correct characters and improve typing speed.
- The framework’s multi-touch support ensures that key presses aren’t missed while typing rapidly with two fingers.
- A smarter dictionary learns from word usage and automatically includes contact names as suggestions.
- Refreshed UI with actionable browser URL bar enables users to directly tap the address bar for instant searches and navigation.
- Bookmarks with web page thumbnails.
- Support for double-tap zoom.
- Support for HTML5:
- Database API support, for client-side databases using SQL.
- Application cache support, for offline applications.
- Geolocation API support, to provide location information about the device.
- <video> tag support in fullscreen mode.
- Agenda view provides infinite scrolling.
- Events indicate the attending status for each invitee.
- Invite new guests to events.